The only day of the year you’ll find me up at 4:30 in the morning

My usual waking time is somewhere between 7 and 8 am –homeschooling’s tough like that. But on Black Friday Eldest and I yawned our way out to the minivan at 4:40 AM armed only with coffee, fried-egg sandwiches and a battle plan carefully marked out in a notebook. First stop: Walmart.

We were delighted to be handed a store map on the way in the door, complete right down to the locations of each pallet that held ‘doorbuster’ items. My daughter grabbed a cart and headed for the far corner of the store, hoping to grab a couple of $20 remote-control Jeeps as gifts for children in our extended family.

I was headed for the electronics department, so I didn’t bother with a cart. My (shall-be-nameless) items were smaller, and I knew from experience that carts are a hindrance in the zoo of the electronics dept. Sure enough, even cart-free it was hard to navigate. But thankfully I was able to snag my most-desired items and with the help of my cell phone soon met up with Eldest who had also been victorious in her venture.

Most of the other items on my Walmart list weren’t terribly exciting– jeans for $8 and PJ’s for $5. We ended up with half a dozen pairs of PJ’s and a dozen or so pairs of jeans, including some adorable embroidered girls jeans with adjustable waists. Yeah!

By 5:45 we were headed out to the van with our booty. Next stop: Target. The deal I was most excited about was the Razor scooters for $18. Our family currently has ONE scooter. I was dreaming of snatching up 6 more. I figured my chances would be very slim, but I wanted to give it a try. We arrived at Target just as the doors were opening and people were streaming in. I dropped my daughter at the door and went off to park. It was a madhouse– cars filling the lot all the way to the back of the lot. As I cruised around trying to figure out what to do, an 18-wheeler roared to life and pulled away, leaving 10 spaces free for me to choose from. Hooray!

Once inside, I headed for toys at the back of the store. It was wall to wall people, shuffling along the main aisles at a funeral pace. Even the side aisles were tough to navigate. I called my daughter. She said that the scooters were already gone, so we agreed to meet in the building toys aisle. I was hoping to find another box of K’Nex (I’ll blog about K’Nex soon!) but those also were gone. Darn. Next we headed for the sheets. They had advertised 100-count sheets for $19, any size. But it turned out they were individual sheets, not sets, which made them out of my budget for the people I had in mind. Darn again.

We were able to find a few other things, mostly items of clothing (don’t tell them, but my 5, 9, and 12 year old daughters will make out like bandits in the clothing dept for Christmas!) and a few scrapbooking things. By this time the line for the checkout was gargantuan. We started walking to the back of the line and were horrified to find that it stretched across the whole front aisle of the store and down one side aisle to the far back corner.

Darn again.

But then just as we were getting in line, the heavens opened up and showered blessings. My daughter happened to notice that the end-cap that had held scooters before was being RESTOCKED. She roared over there and grabbed SIX of the 15 or so that were being put out. Within seconds the rest of them had also been grabbed and were all gone. A very nice lady helped her load her arms and then she staggered back triumphantly to where I waited in line.

We had no cart– there were no more — so we stacked the 6 boxes of scooters, three high on the floor, and stacked our other items on top. Our plan was to shove the heap with our feet each time the line moved forward. Once we got situated and looked at the line again, I introduced myself to the woman in front of us in line. Seems only polite if you’ll be standing within 3 feet of each other for the next hour. she turned out to be happy to chat.

She offered me space on her cart, but it looked pretty full already, so I told her I’d go it on my own for awhile at least. We alternated making little forays out shopping with pushing each other’s stuff forward when the line moved. Thankfully it was indeed moving pretty well. In fact, by the time we’d moved from the back to the front of the store (still FAR from the checkstands) the line was moving fast enough that my legs were getting tired of pushing my heap of scooters forward every few seconds. (Eldest was off finding DVD’s for both our new friend and for us– there were some pretty good sales on those too).

When my whole heap tipped over, my new friend started loading her cart with my scooters. “Don’t argue,” she said. And it was so easy after that that I wondered why on earth I’d been so stubbornly trying to do it on my own for the last half hour. We ended up waiting in line only a few more minutes– they really did move people through quickly.

After Target, Eldest and I headed for Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some browsing, then on to the craft store, and to the mall. By then it was after 10. A quick stop at Sonic for a (second) breakfast, and then it was time to head home with our van full of booty. I was really pleased at all the good deals we got.

Even though I was practicaly comatose for the rest of the day.

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  1. sincerelyanna says:

    I must be hormonal today because when I read that the scooters were restocked and your daughter “roared” over there to get them, I burst into happy tears. LOL!

  2. WOW you did really good. Glad you got all those good deals. I can’t imagine having 10 kids to shop for. I only have 3 and I am now officially broke after Christmas shopping. I bet they all love the scooters:)

  3. You did very well on Black Friday shopping! I am always impressed at the people that can get up and get so much done. I only wish I had that motivation…and time. You have some very lucky kids!!

  4. There are so many Black Friday-haters out there – I found it refreshing to hear about your bargain-hunting!

  5. Here in NY, several stores opened their doors at 4. I seriously considered trying to get there—-but couldn’t make myself do it. ‘Specially after getting to bed at 1pm.

  6. I agree with bubandpie, it was refreshing to hear your successful story. We did pretty good, still bummed about the K’nex at Target though, our Target was out by the time we got to them as well.

  7. Awesome! I love good deals. I was at my local Wal-Mart about 5 am, too. We checked out in the automotive dept so it was quick, quick, quick. We headed to Target next, too. I missed the k’nex as well. But I did land some dvds, $5 play dough, and $12 jeans. Whoo hoo! Michael’s and Penney’s rounded out the morning. My friend and I went and had lunch and did a little more shopping. As a homeschool mom, I look forward to a day out shopping for bargains with a friend. My kids were tickled to see me when I got home. It was a great day!

  8. Sounds like you got some great deals. I was really disappointed for you when I read that you didn’t get the scooters…. so I was very happy for you when I found out you got them after all. Wonderful!!

  9. i was thinking of you on friday and remembering your post from last year about it. i love reading about it. congrats on getting those scooters! awesome get. 🙂 xo

  10. Mary,
    I received the Bible Study today. Thank you so much!!!!! I am so anxious to dive into it. I LOVE Beth Moore. Thanks so much for your generous gift!!


  11. Hm. Makes you wonder how many K’nex they had in stock in ANY Target, actually. Grrr….

    Glad you got the scooters, though! WTG!

  12. I lived in the US for four years of my life, and experienced Black Friday only once. This post brought back a lot of memories, most of them scary!

  13. sick. that’s a great price for the scooters. Good shopping.

  14. You are amazing, girl! [:-)

  15. Fiddledeedee (It Coulda Been Worse) says:

    Good job! This was my first year. I had a ball. Next year, I plan on being considerably more organized. And caffeinated.

  16. My goodness! What time do shops OPEN over there??? Wow! I’m impressed 🙂

  17. I remember your Black Friday post from last year, so I kept checking back all weekend to see how you did this year! Doin’ the Happy Dance about those scooters! I did my first Black Friday this year (inspired, in part, by you!), but I didn’t tackle any big box stores this year – just JoAnn and Family Christian. But I did so well on fleece and yarn and $5 VeggieTales DVDs that I’m still flyin’ high…

  18. sahmof3qts says:

    My sister and I go out every year, it is tradition, and this year I did good! I got some of the same $5 pj’s from Wal-mart, and some toys for daughter. At Target I got some movies and a toy for youngest. How fun for you to be able to do this with your daughter. What a fun adventure!

  19. aspecialfamily says:

    Wow, what a great post, felt like I was right there with you! I’m envious of you being able to get up at 7 or 8, in this house it’s 6-6:30!
    Great post!! I love it as much as the come grocery shopping with me post!

  20. Loved your reference to “booty”, as you cleared the stores laden with treasure. When our girls first came to us they constantly used that word, and not when talking about treasure. They used it freely and loudly in public, drawing attention to ones that were not their own. So we banned the word. Later we saw it on a sign at WDW at a Pirate’s ride, and I had to explain that it was not always an off-limits word! Now, whenever I see it anywhere it just makes me chuckle!

  21. Wow! i love that you got the scooters.

    We don’t seem to have to deal with the selling out stuff that happens in the bigger cities. So far, we have done lots of online stuff, and I have found a few things here and there. Tomorrow I am heading out for a day of shopping and hope to get most of the stuff on the kids wish lists.

    You totally scored!